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The Man with the Twisted Lip (The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, #6)

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Holmes discovers Dr. Watson in the black shadows of a smoke-filled opium den in the basement of the very house where Holmes is investigating his latest murder case! But of course the good doctor is only there to hunt down the drug-addicted husband of his wife's dear, but distraught, friend. Sound confusing? For all but The Great Detective, it probably is. And we haven't ev Holmes discovers Dr. Watson in the black shadows of a smoke-filled opium den in the basement of the very house where Holmes is investigating his latest murder case! But of course the good doctor is only there to hunt down the drug-addicted husband of his wife's dear, but distraught, friend. Sound confusing? For all but The Great Detective, it probably is. And we haven't even talked about the murder yet!


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Holmes discovers Dr. Watson in the black shadows of a smoke-filled opium den in the basement of the very house where Holmes is investigating his latest murder case! But of course the good doctor is only there to hunt down the drug-addicted husband of his wife's dear, but distraught, friend. Sound confusing? For all but The Great Detective, it probably is. And we haven't ev Holmes discovers Dr. Watson in the black shadows of a smoke-filled opium den in the basement of the very house where Holmes is investigating his latest murder case! But of course the good doctor is only there to hunt down the drug-addicted husband of his wife's dear, but distraught, friend. Sound confusing? For all but The Great Detective, it probably is. And we haven't even talked about the murder yet!

30 review for The Man with the Twisted Lip (The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, #6)

  1. 4 out of 5

    Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽

    3.5 stars for this Sherlock Holmes short story, another in The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes collection I've been slowly working my way through, which you can read online or download for free here at Project Gutenberg. In "The Man with the Twisted Lip," Dr. Watson, at the tearful request of one of his wife's friends, goes to an opium den, the Bar of Gold, to extract her husband from his two-day drug binge. While there, he's hailed by a very wrinkled, thin old man with an opium pipe dangling betwe 3.5 stars for this Sherlock Holmes short story, another in The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes collection I've been slowly working my way through, which you can read online or download for free here at Project Gutenberg. In "The Man with the Twisted Lip," Dr. Watson, at the tearful request of one of his wife's friends, goes to an opium den, the Bar of Gold, to extract her husband from his two-day drug binge. While there, he's hailed by a very wrinkled, thin old man with an opium pipe dangling between his fingers. Of course, it's Sherlock Holmes himself. But Sherlock's not there to indulge his drug habit, he's there to investigate a case. A woman has hired him because she saw her husband, Neville St. Clair, leaning out of an upstairs window. When he saw her he yelled and then disappeared, like he had been pulled back inside the room. By the time Mrs. St. Clair, was able to get inside the place with the police, there was no sign of her husband. All of the people in the opium den had disappeared except for its proprietor and a sinister-looking, crippled beggar who is familiar to everyone in the area. But they find some of Neville's clothing and some blood. This is a pretty good mystery for an old Sherlock Holmes short story. I did figure it out about halfway through, but I think the resolution would surprise most readers. It's worth reading for the insights into Dr. Watson's character and for the evocative description of Victorian era drug abuse and opium dens.Through the gloom one could dimly catch a glimpse of bodies lying in strange fantastic poses, bowed shoulders, bent knees, heads thrown back, and chins pointing upward, with here and there a dark, lack-lustre eye turned upon the newcomer. Out of the black shadows there glimmered little red circles of light, now bright, now faint, as the burning poison waxed or waned in the bowls of the metal pipes. The most lay silent, but some muttered to themselves, and others talked together in a strange, low, monotonous voice, their conversation coming in gushes, and then suddenly tailing off into silence, each mumbling out his own thoughts and paying little heed to the words of his neighbour.Of course, after reading all of the made-up details in other Arthur Conan Doyle stories about Mormons (A Study in Scarlet), people of India and islanders (The Sign of Four) and the KKK (The Five Orange Pips), I'm highly suspicious of the accuracy of Doyle's research. Still, it's an interesting story, well worth reading if you're interested in the original Sherlock Holmes mysteries.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Aishu Rehman

    The Man with the Twisted Lip is a short story that deals with the abduction, and presumed murder, of the rich investor, Neville St Clair. The abduction had been observed by Neville St Clair’s wife, and although the police had arrested a suspect, the beggar, Hugh Boone, Sherlock Holmes had been retained to uncover all of the events. This short story is one with many twists and turns, and sees Holmes and Dr Watson, travelling from an opium den in London, down to Kent, and back to London again. Argua The Man with the Twisted Lip is a short story that deals with the abduction, and presumed murder, of the rich investor, Neville St Clair. The abduction had been observed by Neville St Clair’s wife, and although the police had arrested a suspect, the beggar, Hugh Boone, Sherlock Holmes had been retained to uncover all of the events. This short story is one with many twists and turns, and sees Holmes and Dr Watson, travelling from an opium den in London, down to Kent, and back to London again. Arguably, the tale of The Man with the Twisted Lip tells the reader more about the character of Dr Watson, than it does of Sherlock Holmes. The detecting prowess of Holmes has already been well established by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle before hand, as had the lengths the detective would go to in support of his client. In the story of The Man with the Twisted Lip we find though, the lengths that Watson would go to for his friends, and not just for Holmes; Watson willingly goes into the dangerous opium den, at the start of the story, to find Isa Whitney. The CBS television series Elementary has used The Man with the Twisted Lip as a title for one of its episodes, although the plot of the episode bears no similarity with the original story. In August 1986 though, Granada Television did make an episode, starring Jeremy Brett, which keeps faithfully to the original story. The Granada episode of The Man with the Twisted Lip appears in the third series, The Return of Sherlock Holmes, so is not in the same order as the original canon.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Cora Tea Party Princess

    5 Words: Perfect length for a cuppa. Well, that was definitely an intriguing one! I definitely enjoyed it, and I also how Holmes was very almost fooled. It was such a clever plot and a clever story.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Maliha Tabassum Tisha

    2.5 stars "'You have a grand gift of silence, Watson,' said he. 'It makes you quite invaluable as a companion.'" 2.5 stars "'You have a grand gift of silence, Watson,' said he. 'It makes you quite invaluable as a companion.'"

  5. 4 out of 5

    DJ

    "The Man with the Twisted Lip" is the sixth story in the The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes story collection, the third publication in the Sherlock Holmes series (after the first two novels, so the first story collection). Holmes and Watson investigate the disappearance of a man who's wife is sure she saw him in the window above an opium den, but when the police arrived to investigate they found only a filthy beggar, and her husbands jacket weighed down with coins at the bottom of the Thames. "The Man with the Twisted Lip" is the sixth story in the The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes story collection, the third publication in the Sherlock Holmes series (after the first two novels, so the first story collection). Holmes and Watson investigate the disappearance of a man who's wife is sure she saw him in the window above an opium den, but when the police arrived to investigate they found only a filthy beggar, and her husbands jacket weighed down with coins at the bottom of the Thames. This particular story I would describe as 'twisty', which made it particularly riveting.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Jason Koivu

    Not a mind-bending mystery, but a wonderful story filled with devilish details. I love that Conan Doyle created a drug using/abusing main character at the height of the uptight Victorian era and in this particular story was relatively lavish with his description of an opium den and its patrons. The real essence of The Man... is its heart. The ending is quite sweet in its way.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Lou

    The one with the disappearing husband and the now suspected-murderer beggar man with the twisted lip. (view spoiler)[The one with the husband pretending to be a beggar to earn extra money. When caught by wife, uses his disguise as an advantage. I don't know, this kinda reminded me of A Case of Identity... (hide spoiler)] IDK, I was expecting something different and more complicatedly simple... The one with the disappearing husband and the now suspected-murderer beggar man with the twisted lip. (view spoiler)[The one with the husband pretending to be a beggar to earn extra money. When caught by wife, uses his disguise as an advantage. I don't know, this kinda reminded me of A Case of Identity... (hide spoiler)] IDK, I was expecting something different and more complicatedly simple...

  8. 4 out of 5

    Jaksen

    Another so-so in the Holmes canon. (I am presently reading all the Sherlock Holmes stories.) Okay, this mystery starts at Dr. Watson's house when a woman bursts in wanting the good doctor to go fetch her husband who is believed to be hanging out in an opium den. (There's a lot of info. about such places in the annotated version I'm reading.) So off he goes and who does he find in said den? (view spoiler)[ He finds Holmes of course! But not necessarily imbibing in the pleasures of said den, but tryi Another so-so in the Holmes canon. (I am presently reading all the Sherlock Holmes stories.) Okay, this mystery starts at Dr. Watson's house when a woman bursts in wanting the good doctor to go fetch her husband who is believed to be hanging out in an opium den. (There's a lot of info. about such places in the annotated version I'm reading.) So off he goes and who does he find in said den? (view spoiler)[ He finds Holmes of course! But not necessarily imbibing in the pleasures of said den, but trying to figure out a conundrum, another mystery involving a diff. man and a diff. wife. Apparently the wife was in a part of town she doesn't normally frequent and saw her husband - a dignified businessman - looking out a window on the second story of the opium den, waving his arms about. When she tried to investigate she was thwarted by the owner of the den, and later when the police are called in, they find evidence the man may have been there - some clothes of his, etc., - and a beggar living in the room. (hide spoiler)] I figured this one out about two-thirds in and wanted to bang my head against the wall for taking so long! I would wager most diligent readers would get it long before this, and anyhow... A favorable story, but worth only three stars. One more thing, many of those who inspect these stories carefully have found a lot of questionable facts, etc., including one in which Mrs. Watson apparently calls her husband James. (His name is John.)

  9. 4 out of 5

    Franci

    Oooh!! What a twist!! I did see it coming though, being such a Sherlock fan and all... But still, great mystery, loved it.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Crime Addict Sifat

    The Man with the Twisted Lip is a short story that arrangements with the kidnapping, and assumed murder, of the rich financial specialist, Neville St Clair. The snatching had been seen by Neville St Clair's significant other, and in spite of the fact that the police had captured a suspect, the homeless person, Hugh Boone, Sherlock Holmes had been held to reveal the majority of the occasions. This short story is unified with many wanders aimlessly, and sees Holmes and Dr Watson, going from an opi The Man with the Twisted Lip is a short story that arrangements with the kidnapping, and assumed murder, of the rich financial specialist, Neville St Clair. The snatching had been seen by Neville St Clair's significant other, and in spite of the fact that the police had captured a suspect, the homeless person, Hugh Boone, Sherlock Holmes had been held to reveal the majority of the occasions. This short story is unified with many wanders aimlessly, and sees Holmes and Dr Watson, going from an opium nook in London, down to Kent, and back to London once more. Apparently, the story of The Man with the Twisted Lip informs the peruser all the more concerning the character of Dr Watson, than it does of Sherlock Holmes. The distinguishing ability of Holmes has just been entrenched by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle before hand, as had the lengths the analyst would go to in help of his customer. In the account of The Man with the Twisted Lip we find however, the lengths that Watson would go to for his companions, and not only for Holmes; Watson energetically goes into the perilous opium cave, toward the begin of the story, to discover Isa Whitney.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Jason Parent

    This one surprise me. Simple, but I didn't guess it. This one surprise me. Simple, but I didn't guess it.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Dorian

    This definitely went in an unexpected direction...

  13. 4 out of 5

    Jocelyn

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. The Man with the Twisted Lip is about the similarities between a criminal and the detective who looks for them. The book follows Sherlock Holmes and John Watson as they solve another mysterious case. One night, while Watson is at home with his wife, someone comes to call on them. The woman is a friend and she explains that her husband is at an opium den and he hasn’t come home in two days. Watson says that he will go and collect her husband, and he sets off at once. Watson arrives to the opium den a The Man with the Twisted Lip is about the similarities between a criminal and the detective who looks for them. The book follows Sherlock Holmes and John Watson as they solve another mysterious case. One night, while Watson is at home with his wife, someone comes to call on them. The woman is a friend and she explains that her husband is at an opium den and he hasn’t come home in two days. Watson says that he will go and collect her husband, and he sets off at once. Watson arrives to the opium den and quickly locates the man. He scolds him and tells his that he should be ashamed of himself. As the men leave the opium house, someone pulls on Watson’s coat. Watson looks down and sees Sherlock Holmes sitting in a disguise. Watson suppresses his surprise and asks Sherlock what he is doing there. Sherlock says that if Watson sends the man he collected home, he will tell him about his latest case. Watson sends the man home with a note for Watson’s wife, then he waits for Sherlock to emerge from the den. Sherlock tells Watson that he is searching for an enemy and he would enjoy Watson’s help with the case. The pair get into a cab together and go the home of Sherlock’s client. As they travel, Sherlock explains the case. He says that his client is a woman who is looking for her husband. Sherlock explains that the husband went into the city early one day and said that he had two tasks to complete, then he would return home with some new toy bricks for one of his children. The wife had to go into the city later in the day. As she was walking around looking for a cab, she happened to pass by the opium den. She looked up and saw her husband in a window. He exclaimed something and then waved his hands, before he disappeared from view. The woman ran to the door and tried to get in. The men inside of the opium den threw her back out. Luckily, a number of constables and an inspector were on the street and she enlisted their help immediately. The inspector and constables were allowed into the den, and they went to look at the second story where the man was seen. Upon their first glance around, the men did not find any signs that the man had been in the room. His wife, however, found the bricks that he had bought for their son. After a second search of the room, the men found his clothes hidden behind a curtain. They also found a thin trail of blood in the room. The inspector and constables arrested the man who lives on the second floor. He was a “professional beggar,” and they assumed that he was the last person to see the missing man alive. Sherlock explains that the case is seemingly so simple, but he cannot figure it out. He is fairly certain that the man has been murdered, but he doesn’t know why. Sherlock and Watson arrive to the client’s house. She asks Sherlock to be blunt with her and tell her whether or not he thinks her husband is dead. He tells her that he thinks the man is deceased and she questions him further. She asks Sherlock how, if her husband is dead, did she receive a letter from him that very day. Sherlock is surprised by the letter. He instantly suspects forgery, but the woman says that it is most definitely her husband’s handwriting. Sherlock studies the note and the envelope it came in. He then announces that he and Watson should have some dinner and then go to sleep. While Watson sleeps, Sherlock ponders the case. When Watson wakes up the next morning, Sherlock is dressed and ready to go. He tells Watson that it is time to set a trap for the criminal. Sherlock tells Watson that he is ashamed that he did not solve the mystery quicker. Watson and Sherlock go to the jail where the suspected murderer is being kept. Sherlock talks with the inspector who is keeping watch and then Sherlock, Watson, and the inspector go to look at the prisoner. The man has not washed himself since he was arrested. Sherlock reveals that he has brought a bag of cleaning supplies and he begins to clean the man. After a brief moment, Sherlock reveals that the suspected murderer is actually the man who was thought to have been murdered in disguise. The man confesses and he asks what he is charged with. The inspector realizes that he can’t be charged with anything because no murder was committed at all. The man explains that he has been disguising himself as a beggar for many years. He used to work for a newspaper and he was asked to write a story about beggars. In order to write the story, he figured he could go undercover as a beggar. He was an actor before he became a journalist, so he was able to completely transform himself effectively. The man realized that he could make more money as a beggar than as a journalist, so he quit his job and began begging constantly instead. The man met his wife and they married and had two children. He did not stop begging. He explained that he would leave his house dressed professionally, then he would go to the opium den and change in the second floor apartment. After he changed he would have a full day of begging and then he would change in the apartment and go home. He said that when his wife walked by, he panicked and put his beggar attire back on. He didn’t want to live with his wife knowing how he made his money. He did not want to bring shame to his children either. Sherlock and the inspector told the man that he would have to stop begging if he wanted the whole thing to go away. The man agrees and Sherlock and Watson leave. The book ends when Sherlock tells Watson that breakfast should be ready at his Baker Street apartment if they wish to dine together. I have enjoyed another Sherlock Holmes story. This one showed how even Sherlock himself can be bested using his own tricks (i.e. wearing disguises to accomplish work.) I wish that the stories were told from the perspective of Sherlock (I can only imagine what happens in his head) so that I could see how he comes to his conclusions so precisely. Watson’s perspective gives the stories a bit of a magical element, because even if we follow the case the same way Sherlock does, most of Sherlock’s revelations occur while Watson is asleep. I look forward to reading The Blue Carbuncle next week! -Jocelyn Kuntz, Age 15

  14. 5 out of 5

    Em*bedded-in-books*

    Another okayish sort of book involving the mysterious disappearance of a man almost in front of his wife's eyes and the extraordinary reason thereof . Another okayish sort of book involving the mysterious disappearance of a man almost in front of his wife's eyes and the extraordinary reason thereof .

  15. 5 out of 5

    Kathrin

    Sherlock's explanation of how he solved the case: "by sitting upon five pillows and consuming an ounce of shag." I want to see more of the process! Sherlock's explanation of how he solved the case: "by sitting upon five pillows and consuming an ounce of shag." I want to see more of the process!

  16. 4 out of 5

    Jen

    The edition I read is the Penguin edition containing the stories “The Man with the Twisted Lip” and “The Adventure of the Devil’s Foot”. I enjoyed both stories, though I did figure out the twist in both. Made me feel smart, lol! 4 stars, because Sherlock! Though the first story really hit home that history repeats itself. It discussed opium dens and drug addiction. Kind of like today. Very sad.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Bonnie Gleckler Clark

    Once again Sherlock solves the mystery at hand. Poor Neville St. Clair has disappeared and a dirty bigger name of Boone is taken into custody foe possible murder. It seems that St. Clair’s wife doesn’t think her husband is dead and therefore asked Holmes to find out what actually happened to St. Clair. Holmes resolves the disappearance of St. Clair and convinces the police not to press charges.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Jeff Yoak

    This is a short and sweet little Holmes mystery. Again, as I reread the series, I'm amazed at how few really of them actually give you the materials to figure things out yourself. The stories are less impressive when it is just a story of Holmes having a magic ability to ferret out the truth. This is a short and sweet little Holmes mystery. Again, as I reread the series, I'm amazed at how few really of them actually give you the materials to figure things out yourself. The stories are less impressive when it is just a story of Holmes having a magic ability to ferret out the truth.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Amanda Artist Cat

    Inspector Bladstreet:"I wish I knew how you reach your results." Sherlock: "I reached this one by sitting on five pillows and consuming an ounce of tobacco." Me: *Looks around for five pillows.* Somehow it doesn't work so well for me... Inspector Bladstreet:"I wish I knew how you reach your results." Sherlock: "I reached this one by sitting on five pillows and consuming an ounce of tobacco." Me: *Looks around for five pillows.* Somehow it doesn't work so well for me...

  20. 5 out of 5

    Erica Clou

    The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, #6: Kind of funny, but not a great story about poverty

  21. 5 out of 5

    Elysa

    Man. This was good. I'm beginning to notice patterns in Arthur Conan Doyle's writing. Themes which I've described in another review, but in this particular short story, I noticed that Doyle seems to have a thing for women's figures being outlined by the light behind them. He has described at least two different women this way, that I've noticed so far. This story is also my first experience in the original Sherlock universe when his drug-use it put into question. Such as, in the BBC Sherlock epis Man. This was good. I'm beginning to notice patterns in Arthur Conan Doyle's writing. Themes which I've described in another review, but in this particular short story, I noticed that Doyle seems to have a thing for women's figures being outlined by the light behind them. He has described at least two different women this way, that I've noticed so far. This story is also my first experience in the original Sherlock universe when his drug-use it put into question. Such as, in the BBC Sherlock episode "The Last Vow," Sherlock is caught in a drug den mid-investigation. In both cases, he is already working on a case when Watson happens to arrive for a different reason. “I suppose, Watson,” said he, “that you imagine that I have added opium-smoking to cocaine injections, and all the other little weaknesses on which you have favoured me with your medical views.” “I was certainly surprised to find you there.” “But not more so than I to find you.” “I came to find a friend.” “And I to find an enemy.” Just one last note: I read that this story was a bit controversial as to whether or not it would be plausible for St. Clair to make a better living begging than as a proper businessman. I can't speak on this, but I do think it's very interesting.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Eye of Sauron

    One of the better SH short stories, especially within The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes. The mystery isn't too difficult to figure out, but the whole scenario is imaginatively concocted and used in pretty much every Sherlock reboot ever made. One of the better SH short stories, especially within The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes. The mystery isn't too difficult to figure out, but the whole scenario is imaginatively concocted and used in pretty much every Sherlock reboot ever made.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Nick

    My first introduction to Arthur Conan Doyle! Very elaborate writing style and prose, and a great plot twist near the end. Definitely made me open my eyes regarding the Benedict Cumberbatch and Robert Downey Jr. adaptations. I will be reading more Sherlock Holmes in the future. 4.3/5

  24. 4 out of 5

    Mariam~♡

    This time, Doyle focuses the story about a social problem, the begging, and its consequences as the gentleman Mr. Neville St. Clair once disappeared when he managed to easily getting money by some transformations. Favourite quotes: "…but it is better to learn wisdom late than never to learn it at all." "I have seen too much not to know that the impressions of a woman may be more valuable than the conclusion of an analytical reasoner." This time, Doyle focuses the story about a social problem, the begging, and its consequences as the gentleman Mr. Neville St. Clair once disappeared when he managed to easily getting money by some transformations. Favourite quotes: "…but it is better to learn wisdom late than never to learn it at all." "I have seen too much not to know that the impressions of a woman may be more valuable than the conclusion of an analytical reasoner."

  25. 5 out of 5

    Sof

    Pria Berbibir Sumbing (Indonesian) In terms of.. white-collar in the morning, white-shirted at night (?) This kind of thing is enough in some countries.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Jade

    This has to be a favourite of mine because of the immense mystery it has compared to the others! We are confronted by one mystery solved by Mr Watson then Holmes appears! And since unfolds from there. So many twists it held which attained my attention well, and as many have said: perfect length for a cuppa.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Zee

    Dr. Watson actually starts out the sleuthing in this short story until Holmes sneaks his way in. An unusual resolution to the mystery makes this story a bit different but overall still a fair-to-middlin' tale. Dr. Watson actually starts out the sleuthing in this short story until Holmes sneaks his way in. An unusual resolution to the mystery makes this story a bit different but overall still a fair-to-middlin' tale.

  28. 4 out of 5

    mandinmandin

    Adventures of Sherlock Holmes was a fun ride full of interesting mysteries that I mostly solved with easy but still story by story this eccentric detective grew on me and I found myself truly enjoying a book after a long reading slump that was on and off during the whole year.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Ashrakat Deyab

    Wooh! That was unexpected! Favorite quote: "It's better to learn wisdom late than never to learn it at all." Wooh! That was unexpected! Favorite quote: "It's better to learn wisdom late than never to learn it at all."

  30. 5 out of 5

    Cande ♡

    This is one of the very very few times that I solved the case before Holmes explained it, but it was a good story <3

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